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South Korea, Malaysia to resume free trade talks
Published on: Tuesday, March 26, 2024
By: Bernama
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South Korea, Malaysia to resume free trade talks
The scope of the free trade agreement includes service, investment, digital, and biotechnology, said South Korean trade minister Cheong In-kyo. (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy pic)
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia anticipates restarting bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with South Korea, which have remained stagnant since 2019, said the South Korean trade minister Cheong In-kyo.

The two countries agreed to seek a bilateral FTA in 2019 but related negotiations have been stalled after holding three rounds of talks that year.

“South Korea and Malaysia also agreed to expand the scope of the envisioned FTA to cover new areas, such as service, investment, digital and biotechnology,” the minister said.

He said Malaysia is the third largest trading partner for South Korea in Southeast Asia.

“South Korea already has an FTA with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), but the country is seeking to broaden economic ties with individual members through separate free trade deals.

“As the two countries hold a mutually beneficial trade portfolio, the FTA will significantly strengthen South Korea’s ground for trade and investment in the Asean bloc,” the minister and Malaysian counterpart, investment, trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz announced during their meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

On the margins of the meeting, the two countries agreed to launch a fresh channel of dialogue between trade ministers aimed at fostering bilateral economic cooperation, seeking stronger ties in the supply chain and emerging industries.

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